Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Best of the Chicago Blues

I don't know if it has something to do with the fact that I grew up nearby, but Chicago-styled blues are the blues that speak to me the most. When Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf transplanted to the city, they changed the sound of modern music forever, with influences still reverberating to this day. This CD has slightly lesser known names than those giants, but still some spectacular talent - Jimmy Cotton, Otis Span, Buddy Guy (legendary for his remarkable guitar work with the masters as well as his long solo career), JB Hutto, Johnny Young, Homesick James, harmonica kings Junior Wells and Big Walter Horton  - all giving some truly electrifying performances.

Chicago blues is usually highlighted by stellar electric guitar work and amplified harmonica, along with a a swing not found elsewhere, but of course, Otis Spann's fantastic piano also helped to define the sound - and with good reason! This CD is packed with incredible talent and if you're not already familiar with these names, you should be! Another fine comp.